May 9 – May 15 is SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week

This week is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Prevention Week, an education initiative centered on supporting communities and organizations raise awareness of substance use, promote evidence-based substance use prevention activities and capacity building efforts, develop partnerships with federal agencies, and disseminate substance use prevention resources and publications. SAMHSA has developed promotional materials, webinars, and a planning toolkit for schools and organizations to use to host prevention-themed activities. More information on National Prevention Week and how to access SAMHSA resources can be found here.

Articles & Resources

SAMHSA – National Prevention Week

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Address the Opioid Epidemic in Rural Areas

Representatives Conor Lamb (D-PA-17), Randy Feenstra (R-IA-04), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-02), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7) introduced the Rural Area Opioid Prevention Pilot Program Act, which would provide federal funding to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic Initiative pilot program. The pilot program’s goals are to reduce opioid overdose deaths and to provide alternatives to incarceration in high-risk rural communities through evidence-based practices and public safety, public health, and community response programs. In a press release, Representative Feenstra said, “The promising pilot programs included in this bill are a critical step forward as we work to curb the opioid epidemic, taking a targeted approach and ensuring rural Americans suffering from addiction have the resources they need to recover and get a second chance. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened opioid abuse, and it is important that we work to tackle this issue immediately.””

Articles & Resources

Representative Conor Lamb – Lamb Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic in Rural Areas

Rural Area Opioid Prevention Pilot Program Act

Resolution Introduced to Acknowledge the Contributions of Addiction Professionals

Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH-14), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Bill Johnson (R-OH-06), David Trone (D-MD-06) and Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) have introduced House Resolution 364 to recognize the contributions of the more than 100,000 addiction-focused professionals specializing in drug intervention, prevention, treatment, education, and recovery support. In a press release, Representative Joyce said, “Addiction has long plagued millions of Americans, but the threat it poses increased significantly due to the isolation and instability caused by COVID-19. It is critical that our communities have access to the full range of treatment and recovery services needed to effectively tackle addiction. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution to recognize the role addiction professionals play in successful substance use disorder treatment and counseling. We must continue to do everything in our power to support them and their life-saving work on the front lines of our nation’s addiction crisis.” The resolution has been endorsed by the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), the Addiction Policy Forum, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals (NAATP), and the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium.

Articles & Resources

FDA – Joyce, Ryan Introduce Resolution Applauding Addiction Professionals

House Resolution 364

Lawmakers Encourage Treasury Secretary to Ensure that American Rescue Plan Funding is Used to Address Opioid Epidemic

Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), David B. McKinley (R-WV-01), and David Trone (D-MD-06) sent a letter to Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging her to ensure that states be allowed to use the American Rescue Plan funding on opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives. Members also encouraged Secretary Yellen to clearly link the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the spike in opioid overdose deaths in the Department’s proposed guidance to states about the acceptable uses of the American Rescue Plan funding. In their letter, lawmakers emphasized that the “unprecedented escalation of the opioid crisis is almost certainly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Treasury should make clear in its upcoming guidance to state and local governments that fighting the addiction crisis is an acceptable use of awards from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Fund as was intended by Congress when it passed the American Rescue Plan.”

Articles & Resources

Representative Abigail Spanberger – Spanberger, McKinley, Trone Urge Treasury Department to Allow States & Localities to Use American Rescue Plan Funding to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Letter to Secretary Janet Yellen

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Articles & Resources

American Hospital Association – Case study: Caring for expectant mothers with substance use disorder

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – New CDC Campaign Highlights Steps to Prevent Injury in Adults Ages 65 and Over

Clinton Foundation – President Clinton Bringing Together Leaders From Faith and Science to Take Action on Addition and Overdose Deaths

CNN – America is still wrestling with blame for its opioid epidemic

Department of Justice – Alabama Doctor Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance

Drug and Alcohol Dependence – Pharmacy-related buprenorphine access barriers: An audit of pharmacies in counties with a high opioid overdose burden

Johns Hopkins University – Bridging faith and science to combat the overdose crisis

Law360 – Opioid Crisis Is In Hospital’s Front Yard, Doctor Testifies

Newsweek – Chinese Chemicals in Mexican Cartel Hands Feed Deadly U.S. Fentanyl Crisis

NPR – 24 States Mount Legal Fight To Block Sackler Bid For Opioid Immunity

Penn Medicine News – Penn Study Reveals How Opioid Supply Shortages Shape Emergency Department Prescribing Behaviors

Rand Corporation – Informing the Development of Standardized Clinical Definitions of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

The Hill – Massachusetts sues French company, alleging it helped fuel US opioid crisis

The Wall Street Journal – Landmark Opioid Trial Opens in West Virginia

University of Michigan – Patient support program for painful conditions may reduce opioid use

This Week’s Calendar

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the event that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

  • Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care
    Hearings to examine the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, focusing on improving mental health and addiction services in our communities.
    Wednesday, May 12th; 3:00pm; Hearing Notice

Questions about the above content can be directed to